Top Kenyan military commander leaves Somalia

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - Brigadier Paul Njema, the commander Sector II of the Africa Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM], ended his one year-tenure in Somalia, leaving with a contingent of troops who have also been serving in the country, in a routine exchange exercise.

He handed over to Brigadier Jeff Nyagah, who will be heading the headquarters of Sector II in Dhobley, and who will be tasked with the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP], which would pave way for the exit of the AMISOM troops from the Horn of Africa nation.

Brigadier Njema was the commander of the ninth Kenya Defence Forces [KDF] contingent operating under AMISOM. The incoming Commander Brigadier Nyagah will oversee the operations of the tenth AMISOM KDF contingent, KDF said in a statement.

Before his exit along with a group of infantry units, a ceremony to mark the change of command took place at the AMISOM Sector II Headquarters in Dhobley, which is under the responsibility of the KDF.

During the ceremony, the outgoing commander Brigadier Njema thanked the soldiers for their teamwork, resilience, and discipline which ensured operational success during their tour of duty.

He noted that the KDF troops had successfully degraded Al Shabaab in the area and called for further degradation of the enemy’s capabilities to secure Somalia and the region.

The incoming commander Brigadier Nyagah congratulated his predecessor and the service members for their commitment, service to humanity, and their achievements. He pledged to continue conducting surgical offensive operations against the Al Shabaab in order to stabilize the operating environment.

“We are in high spirits and committed to achieving peace and stability in Somalia in line with the AMISOM mandate,” said Brigadier Nyagah.

Brigadier Nyagah said his contingent will further enhance interoperability between the KDF troops and the Somali Security Forces by working together in conducting various operations against Al Shabaab. He also noted that the tenth contingent will initiate various Civil-Military Cooperation [CIMIC] projects to stabilize the operating environment and impact positively on the lives of the local populace.

Present during the change of command ceremony was the Sector Deputy Commander Colonel Pascal Kitiro, out going Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Clement Nyakundi, incoming Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Ongeso, Senior Operations Officer Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy Masai, and Commandant Dhobely Level II Hospital Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Koech among others.

Kenya has close to 3,500 soldiers in Somalia who mainly operate in Sectors II and VI located in Jubaland state, whose administrative capital is Kismayo. KDF first invaded Somalia in 2011 under Operation Linda Nchi but would join AMISOM two years later, in pursuit to defeat Al-Shabaab.

GAROWE ONLINE

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